“How are your flashbacks?
Do you get any headaches?
As a child I would reenact the trauma.
I took her place
And Michelle went and told Mom
I was dead. Mom slapped us both.
And told us she loved us.
“No, not any flashbacks
But I do remember
Events that happened
I can see him on the bed
There’s a bottle in his hand
And with the other
He motions for me to sit next to him
I don’t remember the rest.
“I generally have a good memory
And so when I get sad,
Usually I have a reason
So I let myself cry. It’s not depression.”
I am twelve. I am dishonored by my parents
So I go downstairs
And take enough ibuprofen
To make the heartache go away.
I wake up in the morning, vomiting blood.
“I don’t have nightmares
I repress them with cannabis and
Keep my dreams at bay.”
I am five, being crushed by King Kong
I can see myself in his foot print.
Last night, I dreamed I killed someone
I still see his eyes in shock.
“I still have anxiety
I am very hypervigilant
Always on guard.
I use headphones to help reduce distractions.”
I finished cleaning the TV room
And went and played with my toys
Dad got angry and yelled at me
“When you finish, you ask for an inspection and another task!”
I think I am six. I can still see the anger on his face.
“It sounds like you were
Enmeshed. And that while
You don’t have acute symptoms,
You still have emotional responses.”
I am sixteen. It is Thanksgiving.
I drove home from Michigan
And car followed me off the highway
I am mugged at knifepoint.
I haggle them down to $50.
“Yeah, I didn’t realize
That they were doing a trauma inventory
I’m not surprised that it came back
As me having trauma diagnosis.”
I am thirteen. My dad electrocutes himself and says
“Son of a Bitch!” I say, “Present!”
My mom tries to slap me. But I catch her hand.
She tries to slap me with the other, but I catch that, too.
She tackles me to the ground, as I laugh and laugh.
"I will prescribe these for you
And suggest therapy.
Have you heard of EMDR?
it is helpful with complex trauma."
You can’t hurt me anymore.
I crawled deep inside of myself.
I live in castles unseen to the eye
Locked away in tall towers
Keeping my hair to myself.